01 September 2014

USA: U.S., Partner-nations Conduct Humanitarian Airdrop in Iraq

DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Aug. 30, 2014 – American military planes along with Australian, French and British aircraft airdropped humanitarian aid to the town of Amirli in Iraq, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said in a statement issued today.

U.S. aircraft also conducted airstrikes against nearby ISIL terrorists in order to support the humanitarian mission, Kirby said in his statement.

Kirby’s statement reads as follows:

“At the request of the Government of Iraq, the United States military today airdropped humanitarian aid to the town of Amirli, home to thousands of Shia Turkomen who have been cut off from receiving food, water, and medical supplies for two months by ISIL. The United States Air Force delivered this aid alongside aircraft from Australia, France and the United Kingdom who also dropped much needed supplies.

“In conjunction with this airdrop, U.S. aircraft conducted coordinated airstrikes against nearby ISIL terrorists in order to support this humanitarian assistance operation.

“These military operations were conducted under authorization from the Commander-in-Chief to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance and to prevent an ISIL attack on the civilians of Amirli. The operations will be limited in their scope and duration as necessary to address this emerging humanitarian crisis and protect the civilians trapped in Amirli.

“The U.S. military will continue to assess the effectiveness of these operations and work with the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, as well as international partners including the Government of Iraq, the United Nations, and non-government organizations to provide humanitarian assistance in Iraq as needed.”


BANGKOK, THAILAND, 26 - 28 August 2014  - The 8th ASEAN Navy Chiefs’ Meeting (8th ANCM) was held at the Hilton Millennium Hotel Bangkok, Thailand.

With the theme “ASEAN Underway: ASEAN Navies After 2015”, the meeting was officially launched on 27th August 2014.

This year’s meeting objective is to seek way ahead, to enhance cooperation in facing the maritime security challenges. Brunei Darussalam was represented by the Commander of Royal Brunei Navy, First Admiral Dato Seri Pahlawan Abdul Aziz bin Haji Mohd Tamit.

The 8th ANCM was also attended by Admiral Narong Pipatanasai, Commander-In-Chief of the Royal Thai Navy as the Chair of the meeting; Admiral Tea Vinh, Commander of Royal Cambodian Navy; Vice Admiral Didit Herdiawan, the Vice Chief of the Indonesian Navy representing the Chief of the Indonesian Navy; Admiral Tan Sri Abdul Aziz bin Jaafar, Chief of Navy of the Royal Malaysian Navy; Admiral Thura Thet Swe, Commander-In-Chief of the Republic of Myanmar Navy; Vice Admiral Jesus Millan, Flag Officer In Command of the Philippine Navy; Rear Admiral Lai Chung Han, Chief of Navy of the Republic of Singapore Navy and Admiral Nguyen Van Hien, Deputy Minister of the National Defence of Vietnam and Commander-In-Chief of the Vietnam People’s Navy.

News Story: (CH-47F) Chopper For Oz

CH-47F Chinook (Wiki Info - Image: Wiki Commons)

August 30, 2014: Much to the relief of Australian infantry and special operations troops, the government recently signed contracts to construct maintenance and support facilities for the seven CH-47F transport helicopters that were ordered in 2010. That order became subject to cancellation as Australian troops were withdrawn from Afghanistan and military budgets were threatened with cuts.

This came after a period of rapid expansion of the Australian helicopters transport fleet. During nearly a decade of operations in Afghanistan the army expanded its CH-47D force to eight although one was lost to a crash in Afghanistan. The first CH-47Ds arrived in 1995 and two more were hurriedly obtained from the U.S. Army in 2012 to replace the one lost and increase the CH-47D force to seven. These two CH-47Ds were taken from U.S. Army stocks in order to assure quick delivery.

Read the full story at StrategyPage

News Story: SCO members conduct massive live fire drill in Inner Mongolia

Five Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states carried out a massive live fire drill on Friday in north China's Inner Mongolia.

More than 7,000 troops from China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan took part in the anti-terror drill, involving ground, air, special operations and airborne troops using support from electronic countermeasures, reconnaissance, mapping and positioning units.

Chief of the General Staff of the People's Liberation Army Fang Fenghui, along with his counterparts from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan, watched the exercise, which started at 10am at the Zhurihe training base.

Viewers also included representatives from SCO observer states Pakistan and Mongolia, and the dialogue partner Sri Lanka, as well as delegations of foreign military attaches from 40 countries.

Read the full story at Want China Times

News Story: Scarborough Shoal spat brought proactive maritime strategy

China has adopted a more proactive strategy and tactics in the South China Sea following the 2012 standoff with the Philippines over Scarborough Shoal, according to a report in the Beijing News, citing a number of experts.

From the second half of 2012, following the monthlong standoff, China began expanding strategic deployment and intensified efforts to better protect its maritime sovereignty claims in the region, said Wu Shicun, president of the National Institute for South China Sea Studies, a government thinktank.

This is evident in the building of lighthouses on North Reef in the Paracels as well as Antelope Reef, Drummond Island, South Sand and Pyramid Rock, Wu said. The Paracels are contested between China and Vietnam (and also claimed by Taiwan, which maintains the same claim as China to the entirety of the South China Sea).

Although the Chinese government said its decision to build the facilities is aimed at facilitating fishing and navigation, the setting up of structures on an uninhabited island or reef strengthens claims to the exercise of control and thence sovereignty.

Read the full story at Want China Times

News Story: Australia to join weapons drops to help Kurdish forces fighting against ISIS

Australia will help deliver weapons to Kurdish fighters in northern Iraq in an attempt to counter the threat posed by Islamic State militants, while participating in further humanitarian air drops.

Tony Abbott said the US government had requested that Australia help to transport stores of military equipment, including arms and munitions, as part of a multinational effort.

“Royal Australian Air Force C-130 Hercules and C-17 Globemaster aircraft will join aircraft from other nations including Canada, Italy, France, the United Kingdom and the United States to conduct this important task,” the prime minister said in a statement on Sunday.

“Australia’s contribution will continue to be coordinated with the government of Iraq and regional countries.”

Read the full story at Army Recognition

News Story: China Incident with US P-8 Sparks Debate on Pacifc Posture


TAIPEI — When a Chinese J-11 fighter intercepted and flew within 20 feet of a US Navy P-8 Poseidon on Aug. 19 off the Hainan Island coast, it set off debate in the US about whether the forward-deployed US military can continue to conduct the types of operations that strategic necessity requires.

US analysts indicate that what China really objects to is America’s place in Asia. Put in these terms, China’s demand that the US cease close-in surveillance operations poses a stark choice: Pursue a cordial and more equal relationship with China vs. maintaining America’s dominant position in Asia. What China is telegraphing to the United States is that it cannot have it both ways. This gets to the heart of American primacy and its role in the world.

“Chinese leaders are seeking to expand their influence over their periphery by building up, establishing new terms of reference for what is allowed and normal, tranquilizing neighbors into accepting growing Chinese hegemony, and supplanting US power,” said Patrick Cronin, senior director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program, Center for a New American Security.

Read the full story at DefenseNews

News Story: Taiwan to spend $2.5 billion on anti-missile systems

Sky Bow III Missile Launcher (Wiki Info - Image: Wiki)

TAIPEI — plans to spend Tw$74.8 billion ($2.5 billion) in the next nine years to acquire anti-missile systems to boost its aerial defenses against China, a lawmaker and media said Saturday.

The defense ministry aims to purchase the locally-made Tien Kung 3 (Sky Bow 3) surface-to-air missile system between 2015 and 2024 to replace the aging Hawk missile systems, said lawmaker Lin Yu-fang of the parliament's defense committee.

This will be the biggest procurement of domestically-made weapon systems in recent years, Lin said, citing a defense budget plan submitted to the parliament for approval on Friday.

Read the full story at DefenseNews

Editorial: Russia and the SCO Military Exercises

By Joshua Kucera

Russia may be putting aside its reluctance to accept the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s growing clout in Central Asia.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is holding its biggest joint military exercises ever, as Russia seeks to strengthen ties with China in the wake of its collapsing relations with Europe and the United States. The scale of the exercises suggests that the organization, which had lately seemed to be focusing more on economic and law enforcement cooperation in Central Asia, may be again emphasizing its military component.
This year’s iteration of the annual Peace Mission exercises are scheduled for August 24 to 29 in China’s Inner Mongolia province. About 7,000 troops are slated to take part: mostly from China, but also from SCO members Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. (Uzbekistan, while an SCO member, traditionally declines to participate in the group’s military drills.)
The size of the Peace Mission drills has declined in recent years, but Chinese officials say this is the largest SCO drill ever: “It’s the first time that so many troops and so much weaponry have been deployed in joint drills under the SCO aegis,” Wang Ning, chief director of the drills and deputy chief of the general staff of the People’s Liberation Army, told the China Daily newspaper.
It’s not clear what has prompted the revival of large-scale SCO military exercises, but it comes at an opportune time for Russia. As Moscow faces sanctions and censure from the U.S. and European countries as a result of its assertive policy in Ukraine, the Kremlin is eager to show that it doesn’t need the West. 

Read the full story at The Diplomat

Editorial: China Eyes Russia’s S-400, Taiwan Seeks New Air Defense System

S-400 Triumf (Wiki Info - Image: Wiki Commons)

By Zachary Keck

China and Taiwan are both seeking significant upgrades to their air defense systems in the years ahead.

China and Taiwan are both primed to invest heavily in air and missile defense systems in the coming years.
On the one hand, there have been more and more signs that China will become the first foreign customer of Russia’s most advanced anti-missile system, the S-400. China’s People’s Liberation Army already operates the Russian-made S-300 anti-missile system, and Beijing and Moscow have reportedly been negotiating over the S-400 since 2010. These talks have reportedly been slowed by a number of issues, including Russia’s concern that China would reverse-engineer the advanced anti-air and anti-missile system.
As The Diplomat noted back in April, the two sides have reportedly made progress on overcoming these issues this year, and Russian media outlets have reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin has approved in principle the sale of between two and four S-400 air and missile defense systems to China.
This was all but confirmed last month by Sergei Ivanov– formerly, Russia’s defense minister and deputy prime minister, and currently Putin’s chief of staff. Speaking to state media outlets in Russia, Ivanov said “The chances that China may be the first foreign buyer [of S-400s] are high.” 

Read the full story at The Diplomat